Spare an opinion about my new website? It's doubleplus artsy-fartsy...

Hello mi amigos y amigas. I recently re-vamped my website from top to bottom; nothing from the old website (which you’ve probably never seen, anyway) has been re-used.

The old site was kinda ‘blahhh’ for an artist; it looked like one of those ‘Kids! You Can Make Your Own Website!’ kits where you just punch your own data into a pre-made form. I got zillions of complaints about it.

Did I mention that I have absolutely no knowledge of constructing websites, and HTML looks like alien chickenscratch to me? I built the whole magilla in NetObjects.

The new site is brighter, splashier, easier to use and links to my shop on Etsy. The drag is that I can’t really get an honest opinion from anyone I know personally; my friends and family all claim to love it, but they love me so they’re completely biased. My clients don’t give a rat’s ass what my website looks like as long as I meet my deadlines and jump through their hoops. My artistic peers and gallery-mates are just pretentious idiots.

What do YOU think? Look OK? Is it easy to navigate around? Uncomplicated? Informative enough? Let me know what you think of the website if you are bored and have nothing pressing going on. I sure would appreciate it.

Yes, I DID get the permission of the mods before I posted this.

I gotta say, I kinda love it. It’s whimsical, uncluttered, not pretentious - it makes me like you right from the start, which is a good thing if you want people to buy your art :slight_smile: It also makes me want to show it to my friends, thus good word-of-mouth. Impressive work!

To be completely honest, it still looks very dated to me - I know 80s bright colors and design are very in right now, but I do not like the gradient text that makes up your name.

On the fish art page, I would aim to get the entire menu on the screen so no one has to scroll to see the other options. I run a pretty high resolution on double monitors, and I still have to scroll to see more than two menu items. People are lazy and the more work you expect them to do to see a page, the less likely they’ll stick around. If necessary, make the main masthead smaller and put it to one side or in a corner to make more room for the content.

I would ditch the fish icons for each menu item - if you must have a fish by every option, I would select a small wingding type pictogram and use it as a bullet. You don’t want to overwhelm the viewer with too many fish - focus on one fish element and emphasize it. This will free up space to fit the menu all on one page and also create a stronger design. In general, having everything aligned towards the center is also “weak” design. Giving the text and photos boundaries will make them pop more (You’re actually using this on the black and yellow Jettboy page linked, and I feel like it has much more substantial style than the fish site).

I would suggest maybe having a blurb or something on the main fish page so it’s not just a menu - perhaps the words on the gallery page should go here instead. If not those, maybe just a small paragraph explaining your art or what the purpose of the page is.

Lastly, I would revamp the way you display pictures in the galleries. Just having the pictures stuck on the page like that makes it hard to focus on the art as individual pieces. They start to run together, and it channels an unprofessional vibe to me. I’m not familiar with Netobjects so I don’t know what you kind of things you can incorporate into it, but there are a lot of free, easy to use gallery plug-ins out there that can make perusing your artwork easier on the viewer (For example, I use simpleviewer for an alumni page I run, but I don’t know if that will work with your needs - I’m sure if you google it, you can find other free gallery software/code).

I hope this helps a little, though keep in mind these are just my opinions.

I like it! Nice work!

Edit: not crazy about the gradient text here either.

I think that’s great!

The only addition I would suggest is in the gallery - consider adding a button that allows you to go previous/next/slideshow.

That’s not a criticism - I was interested enough to click back and forth, and I’m assuming other people will be, too.

Thank you for showing us your work!

I second that scrolling on the 2nd page is not a good interface. I run a tiny monitor and it’s waaay too much scrolling.

Also, don’t make the fish images the links. Make the text the link.

I’m kind of digging the 80’s retro Ocean-Pacific-esque vibe, personally. But maybe that’s just because that was all the rage when I was a kid (man, I’d have sold my little sister into white slavery for a Chip and Pepper shirt back in those days… then again, I’d probably have sold her into white slavery just to get rid of her).

I agree on the links - I like the rollover animation on the fish, but the link names should also be clickable because that’s the first thing most people will instinctively try to click.

Splitting up the gallery into multiple pages so it’s not so cluttered would also be nice - the colour artwork feels especially overwhelming, especially since the rest of the site is so clean and clutter-free. A slideshow would be nice, too, since it lets people focus on your pieces one a time instead of trying to sift through all the thumbnails.

Love your artwork, BTW! (Where in the world did you ever find a corporate client to agree to use a painting named “My Huge Angry Cock” as their logo? Awesomest. Client. EVER.)

Everybody has made some good suggestions. Overall, I’d have to say my complaint about the website is that it looks far less professional than your other work.
When I clicked the link and went there, I thought “Oh, this is kinda cute–I wonder what sort of art this will be–I’ll at least check it out.”

But then I reallyliked your artwork. The website doesn’t really give a hint of how fun and clever and very cool your artwork is.


I recently designed my own art website, so I get what you’re going through. I don’t know a lot about web design, either, but I ended up handling the “bunch of paintings on one page” like this.

It’s not perfect, and I have way to many images on that one page (and need to add more–really, the whole site needs updating and some degree of re-design), but I think the table format helps people “read” the images as individuals, rather than a big confusing group.

Also, I really don’t dig the splash sound. Too cutesy for me.

I do really like your work, and think you’ve got a good start here.

Get rid of the sound. Annoying, and unnecessary. Or, at the very least, have a place on the Home page where sounds can be turned off.

OK, here goes. I have no artistic ability so I’m going to come at this from a purely technical perspective.

First and foremost, put information in your Title tags on every single page. This is important. It’s how some search engines display the link to your website and having the pages named “Home” and “Front Page” are meaningless and amateurish and do nothing help your placement on search engines.

Dump the sound entirely. Just about no one likes it.

You need to decide if you want your website to be a eCommerce site or a Branding site. Generally speaking splash pages like your landing page is a bad idea for anything that seeks to sell something or provide information. You might be able to get away with it if you are a band or a major brand where projecting an image takes precedence over content and ease of use. You probably want to get your product in from of peoples eyes as immediately as possible. Many people will reach your home page and never go past that, those people have no idea what you do or what your work looks like.

It seem that your web graphics and the general look of your website have very little similarity to your actual art. That’s a bad thing. If I land on your home page it takes me 2 clicks to actually see your art. That’s 2 too many. If I just land on your home page I’ll think that that giant name and logo is indicative of your work…it’s not. You should probably co-op some of your paintings for logos instead of what looks like simple clipart. Why wouldn’t you crop this painting and use it for your logo as opposed to repeating this?

The blue background is too much. There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of color on your page, but I don’t think having that color washing across the screen from one side to the other is a good idea. Look at how these sites use colored backgrounds to frame and give depth to a design but they confine the information to a more neutral color that has boundaries. Site1 Site2 Site3 Site4 Site5

When I reach your home page it takes me a minute to figure out what to do. This is bad. The cursive print and arrows are a nifty gimmick but they aren’t intuitive ways for most web users to get instructions. All that would be solved if you ditched the splash page and used a basic menu page as your landing page. Get rid of unnecessary layer of complexity.

You might want to consider Watermarking the images on the site, just to protect yourself from people co-opting them for avatars and stuff without attribution.

I think you should find a better way to frame your art individually. Renee is correct that the framing helps but I think you should go a step further and tighten it up to a single view that eliminates scrolling. If this means you have multiple pages so be it.

Check out the gallery section of the artists site here. This is obviously a very professional website that is technically beyond your means I’m sure, but you can take a few instructions from it:

[li]He uses his art as the banner/header which is the backdrop for his name and logo. This draws the attention to the product which is great, you don’t want the big, bold letters of your name to draw the attention, especially since designing fonts/logos isn’t your skill. [/li][li]He uses a splash page, which I don’t agree with, but it’s very clear what the next step is and has a hyperlink on it which people know how to react to. Until you have a famous name I think splash pages are a bad idea. Your site should begin like his homepage. [/li][li]Notice how he has a very clear navigation menu that resides entirely above the fold, it requires no scrolling. Whether you use frames or not is up to you, it’s effective here but many people dislike it. I do like that his banner and nav bar is consistent at the top of all the pages, this is a good design whether it’s within a frame or not. [/li][li]He uses the color grey as a backdrop that frames and gives depth for the black text and galleries. [/li][/ul]

In short I would combine your “Home” page and your “Front Page” into one simple page. You should replace the simple gifs that make up your icons and logo with your actual art. You should make a cleaner, more utilitarian nav bar that resides entirely above the fold of a 800x600 resolution, ideally on the top half of that. You should have a consistent header that remains consistent on every page using either a invisible frame or just a template. Consider using the blue as a background but add a more neutral color as a layer over the top with a shadow to give depth.

Omniscient gives great advice. Your artwork is simply awesome, and you should showcase it more.

I opened it in Firefox and it prompted me for a Quicktime plugin, which I don’t use, so I don’t know what that was for. Someone mentioned sound - you definitely don’t want sound!

Like Omniscient, I was also going to say you need title tags.

I really like your “Art Stuff” page though - it’s the sea art page that could look much better. Get high-res photos or scans of your artwork and use that as your main banner. Maybe a cycling Flash slideshow of your work, similar to the artist site Omni posted:

I have to really stress how much I love your artwork!! Not just the sea creatures, but your other work too - the undersea mural, the birth announcement and the Spiderman mural. You are awesome!!!